What we’re tracking on 10 January 2021
Good morning, friends, and welcome to the first “real” workweek of 2021 in which pretty much everyone is back from their break. We have tons of news for you after a busy holiday weekend, so let’s jump right in:
Have we passed the second wave? That seems to be what the government’s data is telling us, as official figures continued to show a fall in new daily infections over Christmas weekend. The ministry reported 989 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 1,001 the day before and 1,219 on Thursday. Daily cases have now fallen by more than 400 since the recent peak of 1,418 at the start of the year.
The daily death toll ticked up slightly, but is well below what we were seeing at the height of the first wave in 2020. The ministry said yesterday that another 57 people died of covid-related complications, up from 56 on Friday and 54 on Thursday.
We’re keeping an eye on the upcoming launch of the Health Ministry’s online platform to sign up for covid-19 vaccinations, which will be available at egcovac.mohp.gov.eg once it goes live.
In related news: Saudi Arabia will extend its travel ban until 31 March, with no citizens to leave or return to the country until the ban is lifted as a covid-19 precautionary measure, reports the Saudi News Agency.
THE BIG STORY around the world this morning: Agent Orange could be impeached. Again. Democrats (and a select few Republicans) are moving to impeach US President Donald Trump for an unprecedented second time after the mayhem that unfolded in Washington over the weekend. In a very postmodern, social media-gen Bastille, a mob of Trumpistas stormed Capitol Hill in a bid to stop the House from certifying Joe Biden as the next president, leading to the death of one police officer and four other people. Perpetrated by selfie-takers, viking cosplayers, and punch-drunk QAnoners, it’s difficult to know whether this was a genuine attempt at a coup or simply a rampage of the clueless.
Trump loses Pence + his Twitter feed: Vice President Mike Pence broke with Trump by confirming the election results and the secretaries of transportation and education both resigned in the wake of the violence. Perhaps the greater loss came when Facebook and Twitter finally bowed to pressure and kicked the president off of their platforms for his incitement of violence.
Can Trump be impeached within the few days he has left in office? Theoretically yes, and while it’s not going to be easy, there is many a lawmaker on Capitol Hill eager to ensure that King Cheeto will never again stain the walls of the Oval Office
The story is front-page news pretty much everywhere, from the Wall Street Journal to the Financial Times to the New York Times.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-
It’s inflation day, with December figures due out from the Central Bank of Egypt and state census bureau Capmas later today. Annual urban inflation rose to a five-month high of 5.7% in November, just shy of the lower bound of the central bank’s 9% (+/- 3%) target range. Radwa El Swaify, head of research at Pharos, expects urban inflation to have edged up to 6.1% last month.
The GERD party kicks off again today after Sudan agreed to return to the table, according to Al Masry Al Youm.
PSA- Heavy fog will stay with us this week, with meteorologists saying yesterday that driving conditions in the north of the country will continue to be poor in the mornings until Tuesday.
WELCOME TO WINTER- Our favourite weather app says to expect daytime highs of 26-28°C through Wednesday and then a cold wave kicking off on Thursday that will see the mercury fall to as low as 16*C during the day and into the single digits at night.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
- A new class of MPs will be seated in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. We have chapter and verse below.
- Samsung will unveil its latest Galaxy flagship, the S21 on Thursday, coinciding with the virtual-only Consumer Electronics Show, which kicks off tomorrow.
Did you miss our 2020 in Review, which includes pointers on what to expect this year?